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Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.

Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402

Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.

"Healing the Hearts of Women and Children Since 2004"

How domestic violence affects children

Did you know that children can be deeply impacted by violence? When a child is exposed to fighting, screaming and yelling is it traumatizing and leaves emotional, mental, spiritual wounds. When family violence is taking place in a home environment it makes a child's world feel hopeless and helpless. Their hearts are broken and need healing. 

IMAGINE seeing someone you love hit, kicked, punched, strangled and stomped by a person you love and thought loved your family member.  Family violence is confusing for a child and it makes them feel "unsafe" "unloved" "scared" "anxious" "depressed" "overly compliant". It causes a child to have nightmares, stomach aches, poor eating habits. Bed wetting, problems in school, difficulty with learning and concentration due to worrying about loved ones. Children exposed to domestic violence have difficulty making friends or keeping friends. They tend to run away or stay away from home, get involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, unhealthy sexual relationships and risk pregnancy early. 

They struggle with feelings of rejection and isolation. The violence is often expressed in their artwork, writings and music. They tend to have a history of disciplinary problems, expulsions, and chronic school absences. Sometimes they have trouble sleeping at night and have a hard time staying awake in class during the day. Sometimes they have a love/hate relationship with the parent that perpetrates the violence and the parent that tolerates the abuse. 

Sometimes a child will blame himself or herself for the violence taking place. Nevertheless, children learn from what they are exposed to. If they see it or hear it they are being trained to believe it's the right thing to do. Parents, siblings, and other family members are the first examples. For example, if a boy is repeatedly exposed to his father, step-father, brother, uncles or boyfriend beating his mom he will think it's OK. He is at risk of physically abusing his sister. When his mom beats him for hitting his sister he will become angry and confused. He learned how to engage in violence, aggression, uncontrolled anger and victimization while witnessing the abuse of his mother.

It's never too late to break the cycle of domestic and family violence. It's never just the victim of abuse that's impacted. Exposure to violence, neglect, abuse by someone you know, love and should have been able to trust leaves emotional, spiritual, physical, social, financial, sexual wounds. While we can't undo anything that took place in our past we can work to right the wrongs. We can learn to listen. We can make help restore lives. We can make a difference. 

If you or your child is in need of anger management, behavioral health, addiction or divorce recovery support contact us for a consultation. Please fill out the contact form and Customer Care will be in touch. Thank you. 

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Building a Healthy Marriage

The key to having a healthy and happy family is a healthy marriage. Today as we look at the state of marriages we wonder if having a healthy and happy family is possible. Let's explore first-time marriages.

​Studies reveal the average age for men is 26 and the average age for women is 24. According to Dr. H. Norman Wright, almost half of first-time marriages fail. Let's look at four principle reasons why some first-time marriages 

fail. One reason is that some people do not understand stages in their individual development and are therefore less likely to think about how this can impact a marital relationship. 

The second reason is that not every person had an adequate basis upon which to build their personal identity. In other words if personal identity, development and beliefs are unhealthy, negative or key relationships were problematic this creates the risk for later in life problems.

A third reason some marriages fail is because some people enter marriage with unresolved issues such as growing up in a dysfunctional family, traumatic childhood experiences, foster care and child welfare, alcoholism and substance abuse issues, undiagnosed mental illness, and marriage problems of their parents or caretakers.

Lastly, some marriages were dissolved because the couple were unprepared for the marriage and their expectations of each other, marriage and family were unrealistic. Today, marriage and family counseling and support is available. 

Studies show about 80% of married couples struggle with the inability to communicate. One of the most important investments some couples make for their marriage is pre-marital counseling, couples coaching and biblical mentoring.

What topics are explored? Understand the purpose of marriage, effective communication, conflict resolution, healing childhood hurts, boundaries, overcoming your parents divorce, financial crisis intervention, sexuality, parenting and  spiritual wholeness can be explored in pre-marital counseling as well as ongoing marriage coaching.

As author and speaker, Dr. Gary Smalley notes in, Love Is A Decision, by Gary Smalley and John Trent, "Deep-seated problems don't vanish instantly without consistent work by the couple and relying on God's strength for daily endurance". Having a healthy and happy marriage takes work. A healthy marriage is the key to a healthy family. 

Does having good relationships take work? Yes, and there are couples doing their interpersonal and marriage work.

Every relationship experiences some conflict. Dr. Wright shares10 key strategies for coping with conflict.

1. Don't avoid conflict with the silent treatment.

2. Don't save emotional trading stamps.

3. If possible, prepare the setting for the disagreement.

4. Attack the problem, not each other.

5. Don't throw feelings like stones.

6. Stay on the subject.

7. Offer solutions with your criticisms.

8. Never say, "You never.."

9. Don't manipulate your mate.

10. Be humble; you could be wrong.

Larry and Nordis Christenson in their book, The Christian Couple, offers this insight: "Healing does not come from the outside. It comes from within the one who has been hurt. A doctor may set a broken arm and put it in a cast, but the power to mend the bone is released from within the person's own body".

By diligently seeking to learn how to improve conflict -resolution skills, fertile soil is plowed that will ultimately provide a seed bed for effective, healing communication in a marriage. These communication skills can also serve as tools to greatly enhance the couple's parenting skills and abilities. If you're interested exploring how to have a happy and healthy marriage through pre-marital counseling, couple's bible study or marriage coaching contact us today!  

Healing Beyond Childhood Trauma

Did you know that most people in the US have at least one ACE? ACE's are adverse childhood experiences that not only causes harm to the brain of children it changes they way they respond to the stresses of life, compromises their immune systems and causes other chronic health conditions over their lifetime. According to a CDC Kaiser Permanente ACE Study childhood trauma and ACE places people at risk for depression, chronic diseases, mental illness, financial problems, social problems and becoming a victim of violence and sexual crimes.

Other ACE surveys have expanded the types of ACE's and those findings while not surprising are also noted below. Below are traumatic experiences linked to social, financial, mental, emotional and physical problems. 

1. A family member who is diagnosed with a mental illness or depressed.

2. Witnessing a mother being abused.

3.A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

4. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse.

5. A family member who is in prison.

6. Parental separation or divorce.

7. Physical or emotional neglect.

8. Living in an unsafe neighborhood.

9. Experiencing or witnessing racism.

10. Witnessing violence outside of the home.

11. Involvement with the foster care system.

12. Losing a family member due to deportation.

13. Witnessing a father being abused by a mother.

14.Living in a war zone.

15.Being bullied by a peer or adult.

If you have one or more ACE's you are not alone. Research shows that nearly two-third of adults have at least one. Additionally, the scores are even more revealing. For example people with an ACE score of 4 are twice as likely to smoke and seven times more likely to struggle with alcoholism addiction. Additionally, a score of 4 or more is likely to increase the risk of chronic diseases such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis by 400 percent, while also increasing the risk for attempted suicide by 1200. ACE's is also linked to chronic workplace absenteeism, ER visits, mental illness, criminal justice involvement and increased healthcare costs. 

The higher the ACE score the more likely it is that people with these scores have more marriages, violence, drug prescriptions, increased risk for broken bones, greater struggles with depression and autoimmune diseases. Studies show that the life span of individuals with an ACE score 6 or higher are at risk for being shortened by 20 years.

The impact of childhood traumatic experiences doesn't just go away as people age. Rather, what a person has lived through directly or indirectly leaves bits and pieces. Harmful traces of the past that keeps showing up has the ability to be passed down from one generation to the next causing generational cycles of unhealed trauma and strongholds.

While the brain does not know the difference between one kind of traumatic experienced and toxic stress from the other we are not stuck with stressed out brains, painful memories, chronic diseases, mental illness or substance abuse. 

It's essential that people receive an effective diagnosis from an effective team of caring medical professionals who can create qualified treatment plan so the journey to healing and recovery can begin. 

Wishing you health and wellness,

Patrina M Torres, Founder, Totally Healed International 

NCCA Certified Temperament Counselor, Certified Instructor 

School of Counseling, S.A.C.C. Certified Academic Institution


Email: [email protected]


My Blog


Domestic Violence Only Delayed Your Destiny

Posted on July 17, 2015 at 4:59 PM
The following post was taken from Chapter #8 in my book, "The Exodus Breaking Cycles and Changing Lives: Repositioning Your Soul to THRIVE After Domestic Violence'. I hope that you enjoy!
Domestic Violence Only Delayed Your Destiny
I believe that you are reading this book because you were destined to read it. How you received a copy really isn't the issue. Before you were born God knew you. He also knew that you would be at this particular place and time in your life. Our days are number and what's going to take place in our lives
has already taken place in the spiritual realm. Everyday that we awaken we walk in that manifestation.
You have the power of choice on your side. The only thing that can stop your divine destiny is you.
You must be careful about who you allow in your life. Your life is sacred. Everyone doesn't belong in your space. Be mindful of what you are connected to as well as who you are connected with. You behold what you become.
God is calling you to a different place and time. It's time to prepare now for what has already been planned for you. You are in transition. Something is always happening. Domestic violence causes all trypes of losses. Although loss creates setbacks one of the greatest life lessons that you will ever learn about setbacks is that a temporary setback can be a set-up for a PERMANENT comeback.
It's all in how you look at it. Most often when we experience a setback we have a pity-party. I'm not suggesting that you become numb or live in denial.  Do what you have to do in your process but at the same time allow yourself to see things from another perspective.
If truth be told a setback can help you realize where you went wrong. During a setback it's important to take time to reflect, reassess and strategize. You see a setback is an opportunity to get off the losing team and join the winning team. A setback helps you to stop the madness and make a U-turn. It can cause you to get off the roller coaster ride and do the right things for the right reasons this time around.
Change your perspective about your setback. The Bible says that God will cause all things to work out for you. If you refuse to be stuck in your yesterday your tomorrow will be a better day. You really can say hello to your tomorrow today. But you must choose to make a comeback. You have to have a bounce back spirit.
I'm not suggesting that everything will immediately fall into place. Bouncing back takes time. But if you have the right mindset while you're making a comeback you won't fall apart when something doesn't work out the way you think it should. If you do just get back up and dust yourself off again. I just want you to understand that making a comeback is a process so that you won't ABORT the process.
Choose to learn from your setbacks. What can you learn? You can learn about growth and development. You can learn when it's time for a change. You can learn how to deal with the root causes of your past. You can learn how to heal. You can learn how to begin again. You can learn how to forgive. You can learn how to make everyday count. You can learn how to love your children.
You can learn how to love yourself. You can learn how to love God. You can learn how to pray for your enemies. You can learn how to plan. You can learn how to ask for what you need. You can lean that you never want to stop learning because learning causes growth. Anything that's not growing is dying. You can learn how to take responsibility. You can learn how to move forward.
You can learn how to thrive. You can learn how to encourage yourself. You can learn how to silence those voices of failure in your head. You can learn how to read the Word of God. How to seek out the truth, how to reject lies, how to live again, how to laugh again, how to love again, how to dream again. You can learn how to be whole again. You can learn that it was only a delay.
Everything that you need to make it through this trial is lying dormant within you waiting to be birthed.
It takes certain kinds of trials to bring forth that which was place in us by Almighty God. He knows what it's going to take to get you where you need to be.
We'd love to hear from you. Did this post resonate with you? Leave a comment, thought or simply say hello. Do you know someone who has experienced intimate partner violence? Invite them to visit this website. Share this blog with your friend, relative, co-worker, or neighbors. Spread the word.
Until Next Time,
Remain Blessed!

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